I did not realize when I joined Goldman Sachs that I could have three careers in Real Estate—as a real estate investment banker, as a real estate merchant banker, and as a real estate developer/manager—without ever having to leave the company.
I received a BA from Yale and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center. As a young lawyer at a large New York City corporate law firm, I worked with several investment banking teams on large real estate transactions. I was always impressed with the bankers from Goldman Sachs, and I decided that I wanted to change careers to become an investment banker with the firm.
I was admitted to business school and resigned from my law firm. When my clients at Goldman Sachs heard, they asked me to interview with them for a summer internship following my first year of business school. After eighteen interviews, they made me an offer to join the Real Estate Investment Banking team one week before I was supposed to show up at school. I saved myself two years of business school! I was able to land my dream job at my preferred firm without having to pay for another graduate degree.
I work for Corporate Real Estate Strategy. Goldman Sachs works out of approximately 170 offices, located in 48 cities in over 30 countries. As the firm has continued to grow its high-value locations (e.g., Bangalore, Irving, Salt Lake City and Singapore), and its emerging-markets platform in the BRIC countries, our team has been leading the charge in finding appropriate places for the firm to do business.
We are responsible for ensuring that all of the firm’s businesses have office space, data centers and business continuity facilities. Sometimes we develop our own facilities (e.g. 200 West Street in New York, 30 Hudson Street in New Jersey and data centers in London and New York), and sometimes we lease them. Next to our global headquarters in New York, we own a hotel and retail complex. We also own sites where we might one day develop additional facilities.
Having a global role enables me to monitor different real estate markets all around the world. It also gives me exposure to a wide array of landlords and developers. Every market is different, with different dynamics and laws; this makes for a very challenging and energizing experience.
My work is very team-based. Members of my team are located in Jersey City, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo and India. We would not be able to cover all of the Goldman Sachs locations unless we worked effectively as a team. The most challenging part of the job is working with teams across several different time zones, where different languages are spoken, and where different legal systems and real estate products exist.
I have found there to be a wide array of opportunities at Goldman Sachs. In my 16 years at the firm, I have spent nine of them working within Real Estate Investment Banking, two working within Real Estate Merchant Banking, and five in Corporate Real Estate. In addition, I have worked on a variety of real estate projects with Goldman Sachs' Special Situations and the Realty Management Division - two other businesses that are real estate intensive.
There is nothing better than helping the firm establish business in a new location. Having Goldman Sachs employees enter a new office space and feel like they are “at home” is very rewarding.